William Mendoza, the former executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, testifies at a May 2015 hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo House Education and the Workforce Committee
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Ex-Indian education official pleaded guilty to attempted voyeurism




William Mendoza left his post as executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education because he was under investigation for voyeurism, The Daily Mail reports.

Court records show Mendoza, who is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, was charged on November 22, 2016. He was accused of taking photos of women on the Washington, D.C., public transportation system without their consent, The Daily Mail reports.

According to the news outlet, Mendoza tried to take photos and videos up women's skirts at least four times. The incidents occurred while he held his government position and while he was using his government-issued phone, The Daily Mail said.

After hearing about the incidents from the Washington metro police, the Department of Education, where the White House Initiative is housed, launched an investigation into Mendoza, The Daily Mail said. He quit on November 25, 2016, just three days after being charged.


At the same time he was under investigation in the fall of 2016, Mendoza was in the news for getting into a fight at a powwow in the D.C. area. He scuffled with Barrett Dahl, who is of Sac and Fox and Choctaw heritage, because Dahl was wearing a Washington NFL jersey at the powwow.

The fight had taken place a year prior, during a conference hosted by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, but it only came to light after The Durango Herald reported on it in August 2016, citing injuries Dahl had suffered and highlighting his status as a disabled dependent person. Other stories followed.

The news broke at the same time the Department of Education became aware of the incidents on the D.C. Metro system. The agency, however, was unable to take action against Mendoza because he resigned before the Office of the Inspector General completed its investigation, The Daily Mail reported.

The Inspector General later concluded that Mendoza should not be allowed to work for the federal government "due to suitability," The Daily Mail said. A copy of a report does not appear to be available online, or described in a semi-annual report from the time period.

Mendoza pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted voyeurism on January 13, 2017, according to court records. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended. He also served one year of probation.

"Mr. Mendoza has taken responsibility for this charge of attempted voyeurism," his attorney told The Daily Mail. "He’s received treatment for the underlying issues that gave rise to this incident, and, with the strong support of his family, is moving forward productively with his life."

The D.C. court case is United States v. William M. Mendoza, 2016 CF2 019133.

Read More on the Story:
EXCLUSIVE: Married senior policy advisor to President Obama pleaded guilty to sex crimes for taking pictures up women's skirts on the DC Metro and resigned before the government could fire him (The Daily Mail February 12, 2018)

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